Leaves rattle, a chill fills the air, the crowds are gone and the fish are hungry. The casual anglers may have hung up their rods for the year, but we know the bite is just beginning. Trout, stripers, bull redfish and walleye fishing are just heating up when the temperatures drop and we want to celebrate every second of the beautiful season that is fall. We know and you know that fall is for fishing.
Leaves are rattling in the trees and a chill hangs in the morning air as you carry your rods and tackle boxes to your rig.
Fog sits atop the water when you park at your favorite fishing hole and there’s no other cars to be seen. The tourists are gone, the kids are back in school and the water is all yours.
You stand at the bank and take it all in. No swimmers, no tourists, no beach umbrellas. Summer has migrated south for the year and the only thing taking its place is fishing.
Your first cast breaks the surface of the glassy water as the sun just begins to burn off the morning fog. The silence was overwhelming at first, but as you settle into the fall weather, you’re slowly aware of a symphony of fall sounds all around you. A breeze kicks up fallen leaves, the last squirrel before winter chatters in a tree and ducks and geese sing as their flying V’s make an arrow pointed south.
There’s not much time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the fall scenery, however. Almost immediately your rod tip bends in half, with a ferocious take. Your drag screams in defiance as a hungry fish sprints toward cover. You set hook after hook all day as hungry fish aggressively strike whatever passes by.
Late afternoon clouds begin filling the sky and you take your first break from fighting fish to zip up a jacket and look out over the water and the rare gift of weather and colors that fall offers.
You try to freeze frame this moment in your mind, knowing full well the painted leaves will soon fall, leaving the trees bare and the cool air will soon freeze the rippling water in front of you.
You cast as greedily as the fish are feeding, trying to make the most of your time, before winter rears its head.
There are distractions in the fall in the form of football, hunting, pumpkin patches and more, but when you do find that open day and set your priorities properly, the water is waiting and the fish are welcoming.
Whether you’re wading a red and gold bordered stream for brook trout in the Northeast, setting your sights on walleye around the Great Lakes, or timing the striper run off of Martha’s Vineyard, there’s no place better to be than in the water during fall.
Ice fishing in winter is fun, the warming of spring can be amazing and summers come and go, but every Autumn is special and the catches we make hold special places within our memory and our hearts.
There's no way around it. Fall is for fishing.
Now let's go fishing and don't forget a jacket.
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